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More than skin deep: Functional genomic basis for resistance to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis

Ellison, Amy, Tunstall, T., DiRenzo, G. V., Hughey, M. C., Rebollar, E. A., Belden, L. K., Harris, R. N., Ibanez, R., Lips, K. R. and Zamudio, K. R. 2014. More than skin deep: Functional genomic basis for resistance to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis. Genome Biology and Evolution 7 (1) , pp. 286-298. 10.1093/gbe/evu285

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The amphibian-killing chytrid fungus Batrachochytriumdendrobatidis (Bd) is one of themost generalist pathogens known, capable of infecting hundreds of species globally and causing widespread population declines and extinctions. However, some host species are seemingly unaffected by Bd, tolerating or clearing infections without clinical signs of disease. Variation in host immune responses is commonly evoked for these resistant or tolerant species, yet to date,we have nodirect comparisonof amphibian species responses to infection at the level of gene expression. In this study,we challenged four CentralAmerican frog species that vary in Bd susceptibility, with a sympatric virulent strain of the pathogen. We compared skin and spleen orthologous gene expression using differential expression tests and coexpression gene network analyses.Wefound that resistant species have reduced skin inflammatory responses andincreased expressionofgenes involved inskin integrity. Incontrast, onlyhighly susceptible species exhibited suppressionof splenic T-cell genes. We conclude that resistance to chytridiomycosis may be related to a species’ ability to escape the immunosuppressive activity of the fungus. Moreover, our results indicate that within-species differences in splenic proteolytic enzyme gene expression may contribute to intraspecific variation in survival. This first comparison of amphibian functional immunogenomic architecture in response to Bd provides insights into key genetic mechanisms underlying variation in disease outcomes among amphibian species.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, immunogenomics, comparative transcriptomics, immunosuppression, amphibian immunity.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1759-6653
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 November 2016
Date of Acceptance: 16 December 2014
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 01:37

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